More Than 100 Killed as Floods, Landslides Devastate Nepal, India

Post-monsoon rainfall has triggered landslides and flash floods in Nepal, killing at least 77 people over the last few days as rescuers on Wednesday recovered more than 30 bodies, authorities said.

Twenty-four deaths have been reported in the Panchthar district of east Nepal bordering India, 13 in neighboring Ilam, and 12 in Doti in west Nepal, interior ministry official Dil Kumar Tamang said.

Heavy rain has triggered flash floods and landslides in Nepal and neighboring India since earlier this week, leaving thousands of people displaced while damaging crops and properties. Excessive rain has caused a lot of damage in India, killing at least 46 people, officials said on Wednesday.

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Commuters stand on a flyover on a flooded national highway after river Kosi overflowed following heavy rains near Rampur in India’s Uttar Pradesh state on Oct. 20, 2021. (AFP via Getty Images)

On Tuesday, 60 people in a landslide-hit village in the Baitadi district in west Nepal had been marooned by floods for two days, waiting to be airlifted.

“About 60 people are awaiting rescue in Sigas Village Council’s Dhungad village, we couldn’t rescue them on Tuesday,” said Mohan Adhikari, the district’s chief officer, India TV-News reported.

“The Nepal Army chopper couldn’t carry out the rescue operation and the whole village, which has been surrounded by water from every side, has now turned into an island,” the administrative officer explained.

A number of additional casualties were reported in multiple other regions of Nepal, including three people in Baitadi and two people in the Salyan district. The ministry said that 22 people have been wounded so far, and 26 remain missing.

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Aircraft stand on the tarmac of a flooded domestic airport after heavy rains in Biratnagar, Nepal, on Oct. 20, 2021. (Lila Ballav Ghimire/AFP via Getty Images)
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A man wades through the flooded entrance of a domestic airport after heavy rains in Biratnagar, Nepal, on Oct. 20, 2021. (Lila Ballav Ghimire/AFP via Getty Images)

Humkala Pandey, an official with Nepal’s disasters management division, said it is possible for the death toll to increase further in the coming days as it is still raining in many places.

Authorities said the government would provide $1,700 as a relief to the families of each dead victim and free treatment for the injured.

Television footage showed rice paddy crops submerged or washed away, and rivers sweeping away bridges, roads, houses, and the runway of an airport in the city of Biratnagar.

There are “chances of heavy rainfall in some places and light to moderate snowfall” in the eastern mountainous areas, the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology said in a forecast for the next two days.

Flash floods and landslides are common in Nepal and India during the monsoon season from mid-June through September.

Reuters contributed to this report.